Today we moved our Monday gathering to a new place. We used to meet on the Bezer Home compound, but due to the construction of our new Vocational Training Center, there was no room left for us. So we packed up our tent and headed out the back gate to the beautiful rocky hills. This is also part of Mashiah Foundation's land. It's completely undeveloped, and we actually like it that way for now. We will have room to expand whenever the Lord leads us.
It threatened to rain this afternoon which would have sent us scurrying for cover. But thankfully the storm clouds passed us by. The weather got quite cool though. Women pulled out extra sweatshirts and stocking caps for their children.
Esther David, the matron of Bezer Home, is pictured above. She recently attended a special training for those who take care of people with HIV. Today I asked her to share the knowledge that she learned from the workshop. She gave basic tips about caring for babies, providing good nutrition for children, etc. Esther's Hausa is sprinkled with English here and there so I generally caught the gist of what she was saying. One thing she told the women is that they can actually eat the backs (skins) of the potatoes, that it's actually very healthy. The women just shook their heads at that.
The rest of our time today was devoted to auditions for our 2nd Women of Hope album. In 2007, we produced "I Must Go with Jesus" as their first album. We have had modest sales both in Nigeria and in the U.S. All of the songs are in Hausa with a few verses sung in English. I really feel that the CD captures the hope and joy of the women. I never tire of listening to it. Well, now we're ready to do the 2nd one.
Today I announced on-the-spot auditions. First I told the women that if they auditioned, they were telling me that they are ready to speak out and to let their faces be seen. I was quite shocked that 33 women tried out today! It was great to see some new people get involved. We are planning to do 8 songs: 6 in Hausa, 1 in Igbo, 1 in Yoruba. These are the three major languages of Nigeria. We will primarily sing Hausa songs because that is the dominant language of our region. I'm planning to have a different lead vocalist on each of the 8 songs. I'm looking forward to to our "choir practices" this week under the mango tree where we will continue to narrow our selection of song leaders.
Oh yes, I think I also got the title of the album today: Women, Come & Sing. A woman named Elizabeth always sings that song. I never knew what it meant until I heard the translation today. Many of the women have testified that their spirits are always lifted when they come to our Monday gathering for prayer, Bible study, singing, dancing, and plenty of laughter.